Inmates lodge medical complaints against Wyoming jails and prisons

May 23, 2013

The Wyoming chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it’s been getting more complaints than in the past about medical and mental health care in the state’s jails and prisons.

The ACLU’s Jennifer Horvath says a common complaint is that when doctors outside the prison recommend that an inmate see a specialist, the prison refuses.

“The prison doctor is overriding those recommendations, and simply saying, ‘I know what’s wrong with you, and I’ve decided that you don’t need to see a specialist,’” Horvath said. “We never used to get those complaints, and now we’re getting … a significant number of them, and that’s raising our concerns.”

But Steve Lindley with the Department of Corrections says they’re doing nothing wrong.

“While one may disagree with a particular outcome or response, when it’s looked at through the eyes of a medical provider, it was appropriate … given the legal requirements,” Lindley said.

He says an independent entity that specializes in correctional healthcare does inspections several times a year to ensure that Wyoming’s correctional institutions are adhering to all the rules.